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Re: Oh, No!-Not A Ocho! Anyone help Please!
Posted by Shellie
10/29/2008  11:31:00 AM
I wanted to know what you think about a ladies ocho in dancing the tango. Is there a differnce or reason for lifting the leg higher, or keeping the landing tight at the ankles, or keeping the leg together and sweeping the floor with the toes to form

There is definitely a reason! What you are addressing are forms of style or adornment, and these are options that may be taken by the follow, or may at times be led.

An ocho is, for lack of a better way of describing it, a swivel. (If we want to be VERY technical here, that is loving called a "quatro," as it does take two to form that little 8 pattern on the floor, though one "quatro" does not mean another "quatro" must follow.) To execute a basic proper Argentine tango ocho you bring your ankles together (with weight still on the supporting foot) and rotate. The lady has options of embellishment for her free leg. She may flick, she may point, etc. In crowded social situations, the lady may opt to make a small beat at her ankle, or may opt for no embellishment at all. (Larger flicks, or boleos, may injure others if dancing on a crowded floor.)

To make a large fan, typically, the man leads this by lowering the lady. Her knees are now soft and she has the ability, or the room, to extend her free leg to create fan. If the lady is kept "up" by the man she will typically not make a large fan, but opt for a simple ocho or other embellishment, and these other embellishments do include the option of trailing the foot behind in a fan-like fashion. You may have noticed in your American that it is at times difficult to create fan, and this would be because the lead is keeping you "up."

I hope this helps.
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